July 8th, 2010
01:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: Economy 'headed in the right direction'


President Obama on Thursday toured Smith Electric, an electric company in Kansas City, Missouri, that has been helped by economic stimulus funds. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Thursday the U.S. economy is "headed in the right direction," and he challenged Republican critics to work with him to continue making progress instead of trying to obstruct his agenda.

"What is absolutely clear is that we are headed in the right direction - and that the surest way out of this storm is to keep moving forward," Obama told workers at a Kansas City, Missouri, electric vehicle company that had been helped by economic stimulus funds.

"There are some people who argue that we ought to abandon our efforts, and some people who made the political calculation that it's better to just say no to everything than lend a hand," Obama said of congressional Republicans who oppose his policies.

He urged his political opponents to visit Smith Electric Vehicles, which makes batteries for electric trucks, and other businesses across the country to hear how government initiatives such as the stimulus bill and tax credits are creating and saving jobs, particularly in future-growth industries such as clean energy.

"This is how we ensure that America not only recovers, but prospers - that this nation leads the industries of the future," Obama said.

Later, at a fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan, Obama sharpened his criticism of Republicans, saying his GOP opponents continue to push the same economic policies that helped bring the recession that started during the previous administration.

"It's a little odd getting lectures on sobriety from folks who spent like drunken sailors for the last decade," Obama said. At a second event for Carnahan, Obama said Republicans are "peddling that same snake oil that they've been peddling for years."

Repeating previous attacks, Obama singled out a recent comment by House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio that the Wall Street reform bill awaiting final congressional approval is akin to using a nuclear weapon to kill "an ant."

Ridiculing Boehner for comparing the financial system collapse that helped launch the recession to an ant, Obama said: "You can imagine a movie: 'The Ant That Ate Our Economy.' That's a big ant."

Boehner has since said he was criticizing the financial regulations reform bill rather than minimizing the scope of the financial system collapse.

Obama, however, said Republicans "continue to defend the status quo that got us into this mess."

Noting that some of his policies, such as the economic stimulus bill, were not widely popular, Obama prompted applause by saying: "Our decision was not to worry about the next election. We worried about the next generation."

Republicans criticize Obama for driving up the federal deficit, which they say hinders economic recovery and threatens future stability. Obama contends that government spending was essential to halting the recession and must continue in the short term until full recovery is assured.

At the same time, the president said, a deficit reduction commission he appointed will devise a long-term strategy for balancing the federal books.

Filed under: Economy • issues • President Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Fed Up

    Yeap, the economy is definitely headed in the right direction! Unemployment is up, defaults in mortgages continue to go up in our area, unemployment checks are running out. The economy is fantastic! This man lives in a plastic bubble with his blackberry. Too bad he can't hit the unemployment line any time soon, along with every single member of the House and Senate. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    July 8, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |

    Mr. President, I whole heartedly, agree with you........
    The fact is one year ago, America was shook up violently by job loss...almost 1 million jobs lost a month.........NO JOB CREATION AT ALL!!!!!!!!! AT ALL!!!!! This year however, we have experienced GROWTH!!!!!! Albeit small (though small beginings should not be looked down on) Now the fools on the right who want to scream fire in a crowded movie theater, may down size this, But how does any rational person expect a million jobs a month to be created, when the free market was just RAVAGED by the global meltdown????
    All in 1 years time? Hmmmmm? From over 500,000 jobs a month being lost, to we should have 500,000 jobs added a month in one years time?
    It's just not logical. So yes Mr. Prez., keep up the good work.

    July 8, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Rick

    in you dreams LIER, you and you administration is so full of smoke. Why dont you act like dumbo and fly away and lets get some real leadership and take all your tax cheats with you. It will be a cold day in you know where before I ever respect a moron like you, but you do lie well, another crooked politician and wanna be

    July 8, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Ron in california

    Talk about out of touch

    July 8, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    Obama is turning into Hoover more and more every day. This recovery summer has been awesome thus far.

    July 8, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Rick

    you are right obama, its headed down the tubes and our children will pay for your stupidity, fly away and lets fix America under a real leader instead of the moron obama.

    Obama we love America so do us a favor and leave it.

    July 8, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Minesh - troy, MI

    More jobs lost is right direction?

    July 8, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Hall for Obama

    This is my president! President Obama dont let any one stand in the way of progress you will make it. God is on your side and when God is for you no one (Devil) can do you any harm. Keep up the good work and you will fight a good fight.

    July 8, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Pkm

    Go man go do what you have to do the party of no will not help you

    July 8, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Jimmy B.

    Sometime saying no is better than doing the wrong thing. Obama is leaving this debt for future generations. I think by "lend a hand" he means increase spending and give more handouts so even more people are dependent on the government. He likes to redistribute wealth. That shouldn't be the job of the federal government!

    July 8, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Hoosier

    Does anyone think maybe, just maybe, President Obama can see the forest for the trees? People are so caught up in today's problems they fail to see President Obama is securing America's place in drastically different future. One where clean energy replaces oil and countries work together to solve global problems.

    July 8, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. gopkid

    This is absolute bull.

    July 8, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    If by "right direction" you mean ever increasing income disparity, the nearly complete dismantling of the social safety net and the destruction of the middle class through 30 years of trickledown nonsense and outsourcing, then yeah, I guess we're headed in the right direction. Have a nice day!

    July 8, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Stagnation with 10% unemployment is "the right direction?" With a huge set of new taxes and tax increases due to hit in another six months that's going to further slam the economy?

    Keep spinning, Barry, but the only effect is going to be that you'll get dizzy.

    July 8, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    At least there are loads of jobs in criminal justice and the military. Have a nice day!

    July 8, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. one voice

    We would've been alot closer to FULL recovery if the CROOKED GOP wouldn't block EVERYTHING. Their goal is to make Obama fail and ELIMINATE middle class. ( kings and servants) GREEDY CREEPS

    July 8, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. GDMS

    Yes, the Economy is heading in the right direction for the Democrats defeat in 2010 and your defeat in 2012. Keep up the good work and can not wait for your departure from the Whire House.

    July 8, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. A HA

    Ya right looks more like a Bush Jobless recovery and as far as I concerned this guy is a joke and needs to be removed and let someone who knows what they are talking about put in office.Only thing Oboma cares about is making himself look good to Big corp. and they lobbiest that support his campains. So much for change, this guys is a studie on what Bush got wrong.

    July 8, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Nothing is too big to fail

    Headed in the right direction? Yeah, if the plan is to completely bankrupt us. You send all our manufacturing jobs overseas, start forever wars, take over healthcare, etc.

    Seems like we're heading for the slaughter

    July 8, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Papasan in AZ

    zero jobs created

    July 8, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. Greg Pottstown PA

    Many economists are expecting a double dip recession but Obama thinks the country is going in the right direction. I trust the economists.

    July 8, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Blaum

    Right direction?!!!

    Obama... you are killing us out here......

    10% unemployed is the right direction?

    out of touch....

    July 8, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Girl Friday

    This country needs to give our current President at least HALF the time to try to begin to right this ship as the old Texan (aka GWB) took to mess it up. Good grief, President Obama has been in office not two years and folks expect this mess to be straightened out already. Rome wasn't built (or rebuilt) in a day, people!

    July 8, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. A HA

    Amen to that Barry.

    July 8, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. GDMS

    Remember votes 100% Republicans in 2010 and 2012 so we can get our Country back to where ir should. Socialism does not work and by the way Global Warming is a huge hoax.

    July 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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